Jacqueline Jorgensen’s Beyond Mud and Vines, and the sequel Yearning To Be American are not about health and medicine, but are about the determination of a young girl to survive against the odds. Her first book, Beyond Mud and Vines, depicts the dramatic details of Sabina’s escape from her brutal upbringing, in the hills of Puerto Rico in 1947. Born with a thirst for knowledge, she can not live under her parents’ rules and restrictions. “Schooling is not for girls,” the parents insist, “all they will ever be is wives and mothers, which requires no education. Sabina runs away at age twelve, after her drunk father threatens to cut her throat with his sharp machete. She has gone through twelve years of abuse, and running away is her only chance to live a better life. She follows the river through the jungle and around several mountains, gets sucked into the river’s floor by a whirling pool and it is nothing less than a miracle how she makes her way out. Three days later, after sliding in the mud, tripping over the vines, and sleeping up in the trees, she arrives at a city on the west end of the island. The story of Sabina is riveting, yet heartwarming and inspirational. By perseverance and hard work, she finds new parents and makes a better life for herself. She goes back to the old farm four years later and rescues her seven sisters and brothers from their enslavement. Jacqueline Jorgensen lives in California, where se studied real estate, interior decorating and creative writing.
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